Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy is a private, secular academy located in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. It currently contains 640 students.[4] It is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. The school's colors are red and black, and the mascot is the Panther.

Sewickley Academy
Sewickley Academy Crest.jpg
Amici, Honor, et Virtus
Friendship, Honor, and Achievement
Typeindependent, secular, coeducational preparatory school
Head of SchoolKolia John O'Connor[1]
Head of schoolDr. Cricket Mikheev (Lower School)

Shannon Mullholland (Middle School)

Dr. Peter Lau (Senior School)
DeanJessica Peluso (Senior School)
Trevor Adams (Middle School)
Color(s)     Red
Athletics conferencePIAA, WPIAL,
Endowment$34 million[2]
Tuition$17,125 Pre-Kindergarten
$18,625 Kindergarten
$23,225 1st-5th
$27,035 6th-8th
$28,850 9th-12th[3]
AffiliationsNational Association of Independent Schools


Located approximately 12 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, 660 students attend SA on a single, 16-acre campus, which includes 60 classrooms, nine science labs, five computer labs, two robotics labs, two libraries with a total of 33,600 volumes, two student publishing centers, a digital design lab, and a media center.

The campus is equipped with five tennis courts, four athletic fields including a turf field, two gymnasiums, and a fully equipped fitness center that supports 22 varsity teams.

The Academy utilizes two greenhouses and a school garden that supposedly creates an outdoor classroom and experiential learning center. The arts programs are supported by visual and performing art studios, a ceramics studio, music practice rooms, a black-box theater with seating for approximately 130, Rea Auditorium with 570 seats, and the Campbell Art Gallery.

Early Childhood, Lower, Middle, and Senior Schools: 315 Academy Avenue, Sewickley, PA 15143

Frick Field: 200 Hazel Lane, Sewickley, PA 15143

Nichols Field: 624 Beaver Road, Sewickley, PA 15143


Sewickley Academy is the oldest independent school in western Pennsylvania. Founded in 1838 as a boys’ school by William Nevin and John Champ, it was housed in Squire Way's brick house that still stands on Beaver Road in Sewickley. Boarding students came from southern states including Virginia and as far south as New Orleans, Louisiana. They came by steamboat and by rail, joining local day students from the Pittsburgh area.

The school underwent several iterations: it was moved four times around the Sewickley area and closed briefly three times, once because of the Civil War when southern students returned home and some teachers and older boys joined the war effort. The school reopened in 1865 as a day school. Two local girls’ primary schools closed in the early 1900s and, integrating these girls into its program, the Academy became a co-educational day school when it settled onto its present campus in 1925.

Under the leadership of Headmaster Cliff Nichols (1951 – 1981) the school began to expand slowly from a neighborhood school to a more regional school. The Academy only educated students through Grade 9 for much of its history. Students left Sewickley to attend boarding schools and other schools in the Pittsburgh area to complete their secondary education. In 1963 Nichols hired James E. Cavalier to build a Senior School, one year at a time. The first class graduated from the new Senior School in 1966.

A fire destroyed the main building on January 10, 1970, however, Nichols and the Board of Trustees enacted a capital campaign that repaired the main building and added several additional buildings to the campus. Later, the school enacted a Master Plan from 1998 to 2000 that transformed the campus once again, adding a new building for the Middle School, a library for Middle and Senior Schools, and reconfiguring multiple other buildings on campus.

The current Head of School is Kolia O’Connor. The school recently celebrated its 175th anniversary since its founding in 1838 and the 50-year anniversary of the inception of the Senior School.[5]


Cum Laude SocietyEdit

Sewickley Academy has been a member of the Cum Laude Society since the earliest days of the Senior School in 1966. The faculty members of the Sewickley Academy Cum Laude Society select students from the senior class to become candidates for induction into the Sewickley Academy chapter of the Cum Laude Society. Selections are made based on the record of academic achievement earned by the student through the end of their junior year. The Cum Laude Society instructs its member chapters to not consider service, athletics, leadership, or other non-academic factors in selecting candidates for induction. The Cum Laude Society argues this on the basis that these qualities are recognized in other contexts. The Cum Laude Society is looking first and foremost at the student's record of academic achievement.


The Sewickley Academy Athletics program stresses the development of personal and team excellence for student-athletes. Outstanding coaches work with individuals and teams to improve performance and to promote character, leadership, and sportsmanship. More than 85 percent of the student body in the Middle and Senior Schools participate on at least one athletic team each year, and many students play multiple sports.

The Academy has a no-cut policy, allowing any student to play on any team of his or her choosing. The campus boasts four athletic fields including a turf field, five tennis courts, two gymnasiums, and a fully equipped fitness center that supports its 22 varsity teams. In the Fall of 2016 we will celebrate the opening of the Events Center that will provide brand new locker rooms for Middle and Senior School students, a state of the art training room, a spacious fitness center with a core training room to expand our physical education offerings, an NCAA regulation-sized basketball court that can be divided to accommodate two high-school-sized basketball courts, two team meeting rooms with video review capabilities, and an indoor individualized instruction area for baseball, softball, lacrosse, and golf.[6]


Since 1986, the Academy has been a member of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL), which contains hundreds of other public and private secondary schools in Western Pennsylvania, and competes in District 7 of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), a state-level athletic governing body. The ice hockey team is a member of the PIHL and the Midwest Prep Hockey League. Sewickley Academy has been crowned the MSA Sports Cup Champions nine of the past 11 years.

Interscholastic sportsEdit

Notable alumniEdit



  1. ^ "Administration". Sewickley Academy. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Charitable Organization: Sewickley Academy". Open Endowment. 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  3. ^ . sewickley Academy Retrieved May 1, 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Quick Facts".
  5. ^ "Our History".
  6. ^ "Championship Pittsburgh High School Sports Program | Win Palmer". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  7. ^ "Distinguished Alumni". Sewickley Academy Website. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
  8. ^ "Astronaut Bio:Edward Michael "Mike" Fincke". NASA Johnson Space Center Website. March 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
  9. ^ "The Boys in the Band Wins 2019 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play". Broadway Buzz. June 9, 2019.

External linksEdit